ESPN is canceling plans to host eight of its men’s college basketball events at Disney World. An official statement given by ESPN explains the decision.
ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando. Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.
ESPN runs 10 nonconference events in November and December. The Champions Classic, Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, Orlando Invitational, Jimmy V Classic and Diamond Head Classic are some of the major upcoming games. There was speculation of them coming to Disney World in November/December, but we know now that’s not the case.
The challenges with testing protocols refers primarily to retesting players who had already previously tested positive for coronavirus and been cleared. The protocols for a player testing positive while in the Orlando bubble were another key discussion point.
The bubble was expected to run from Nov. 25 until early December, highlighted by the Champions Classic and the Jimmy V Classic. While the other six events are likely to resume in 2021, there is hope for the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic to move to a different location for this season, sources told ESPN.